Do home solar panels make sense in Riverside, California?

Summary:

The median price of a 6 kilowatt home solar system in Riverside is about  $10,044.
That 6 kW system would generate about  $1,985 worth of electricity every year.
In 2019, you can qualify for a  30% federal tax credit. In California, there are additional solar rebates available.
There are at least  20,813 homes in Buffalo with solar panels.
Learn more

Table of Contents:



How much do solar panels cost in Riverside, CA?

The average cost per watt of residential solar in California is $4/watt. For comparison, the national average is $3.70/watt.

Cost per watt is the total installed cost of a system, including taxes, divided by the size of the system in watts (DC). It includes the cost of hardware plus installation costs. Cost per watt is always the gross cost, before incentives. This means, at a minimum, you can take 30% off the price of the system in 2019 because of federal tax incentives.

The cost of a solar panel system for your house in Riverside will depend on how much electricity you want to generate, which affects the size of the system you’ll need. The following is an example price estimate for a home solar panel system in Riverside, with an electricity generation estimate based on the local climate and the following assumptions:

• 554 kWh is the amount of electricity that the average California home uses every month.
• 3.68 kilowatts is the size of the system you’ll need to generate 100% of this electricity from solar panels.
• 9 to 14 panels is what that translates to (depending on panel efficiency, which commonly ranges from 260 watts to 400 watts)
• Panels oriented due south and mounted on a shade-free roof at a 30° angle.

Gross system price$14,348This is the price of your system plus taxes but before incentives, based on an average cost of solar in your state of $4 per watt.
Federal tax credit of 30%$4,304The most important solar incentive in the nation, the federal solar tax credit, gives homeowners 30% off the cost of their system in 2019. It drops to 26% next year. Read more
Net system price:$10,044

This estimate is based on averages but your home, of course, may be different. For a personalized estimate, grab a copy of your utility bill and use our calculator to plug in the numbers for your home.



Can you save money with solar panels in Riverside, CA?

Every year, that hypothetical Riverside home solar system described above would produce about $1,985 worth of electricity. This is based on the California state average price of electricity of $0.18/kWh and the average local climate.

But that’s just a home with average electricity usage. You might need more or fewer solar panels, depending on how much electricity you want to generate. Also, shade matters a lot. If you have trees or buildings throwing shadows on your roof, that could reduce your solar production by a lot.



Houses in Riverside with solar panels

According to our data from various local agencies, there are at least 3,263 homes in Riverside that have solar panels installed. This means a lot of your neighbors have looked into solar and decided that it’s a smart choice for them. If you add up the total generating capacity of these solar panel systems, you get a total of 17,846 kilowatts of solar electricity that is being sent into your local electricity grid.

If you’re trying to decide if solar is right for you, this is good news. Having a lot of solar homes means that you will have more local contractors to choose from. You can also feel more confident about going solar, because many of your neighbors in Riverside have already decided that solar is a smart choice for them.



Solar panels directly turn sunlight into electricity, so the more sunlight you have, the more power that a solar panel system will generate. That doesn’t mean that you need to live in the desert for solar panels to produce a lot of power. The amount of sunlight that a location gets is influenced by how far south it is, but also by its climate. If you live somewhere with few cloudy days, you might generate more solar electricity than a rainy city that is further south.



Riverside solar energy potential

To make a fair comparison of how much sunlight different cities get, we use a measurement called Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI). It takes into account the position of the sun in the sky throughout the year, cloud cover, airborne particulates, precipitation, and other climate variables.

The DNI for Riverside is 7.08, which means that it is one of the sunniest cities in the country.

7.08

If you add solar panels to your Riverside home, you’ll generate plenty of electricity and need fewer panels to do it.

In the continental United States, DNI ranges from about 3.0 to 8.5 kWh/m2/day. In the most northern parts of Alaska, the DNI reaches a low of 0.5.

A higher DNI means more sunshine and more electricity generation by solar panels, but solar can be viable even with a lower DNI. For example, Germany has widespread solar PV, but a DNI of only about 2.5.

This DNI data comes from GEOS geostationary satellite data and NREL climate models.

Riverside
US low
US high

In some climates, you’ll see a big difference in sunlight and solar electricity generation from summer to winter. These charts show you what to expect in Riverside.

Solar Energy by Month (DNI)


The graph below estimates how much a 6 kilowatt south-facing solar panel system would generate in Riverside.

Power Generation by Month (kWh)


The graphs above show you that a home solar panel system in Riverside will produce pretty close the same amount of electricity throughout the year. While the highest producing month, on average, will produce 148% more electricity than the darkest month, this is a small difference compared to most other locations in the US. If you don’t have net metering, this is a good thing because it means you won’t have extreme differences in electricity production that cause you to send a lot of power back into the grid.



Riverside, CA solar companies

This is a list of solar home installations we know about within the city limits of Riverside, CA.

# of homes refers to the number of installations by the installer in the Riverside area that we have a record of. It’s possible that the installer has done more installations in the local area.
Total kW installed is the cumulative solar generation capacity of all the residential installations by the installer in Riverside.
Year of the most recent install is the most recent record of work done by the installer in Riverside. This lets you know if the company is active in the area, or hasn’t done work in some time (or even gone out of business).
Installer# of homesTotal kW installedYear of most recent install
1 SOLAR SOURCE182015
1ST CHOICE SOLAR CONSTRUCTION162016
2 T CONSTRUCTION5272015
360 SOLAR ENERGY141002016
A - AERIAL SERVICE COMPANY282012
A PLUS SOLAR SOLUTIONS132015
A S ELECTRIC282014
A1 SOLAR POWER13552016
AAA TREE SERVICE132014
ACA SOLAR162015
ACECON142015
ACRO ELECTRIC182012
ACRO ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES10972011
ADR ELECTRIC4202016
ADVANCED IMPROVEMENTS2172016
ADVANCED SOLAR ELECTRIC172008
AKEENA3222009
ALL TEMPERATURE3142014
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY162015
AM ELECTRICAL142016
AMBASSADOR ENERGY2122015
AMERI TECH CONSTRUCTION142014
AMERICAN SOLAR14652015
AMERICAN SOLAR DIRECT5302016
AMERICAN SOLAR POWER1122016
AMERICAN SOLARGY152016
AMERICAN VISION SOLAR LP3152015
APPLIED SOLAR2142015
AQUA SYSTEMS132006
ATA ENERGY3242016
AZ SOLAR162015
BAKER ELECTRIC5502016
BARNES SOLAR1102016
BARRUS ELECTRIC5252016
BEACH CITIES SOLAR152015
BELLA ELECTRIC152010
BORREGO SOLAR182009
BRIGHT LIFE SOLAR7402016
BRIGHTSOLAR CAPITAL162015
BRITE ENERGY171182015
BUILT GREEN CALIFORNIA3212015
BURKE ELECTRIC392952014
BURROLA CONSTRUCTION162016
CALIFORNIA SHOW CASE CONSTRUCTION3102014
CALIFORNIA SOLAR221372015
CALIFORNIA SOLAR INNOVATIONS152011
CALIFORNIA SOLAR SYSTEMS6362016
CALIFORNIA STATE2102012
CALIFORNIA STATE BUILDING CONTRACTORS152011
CANYON CONSTRUCTION192016
CERTIFIED SOLAR PROS1252014
CHAMPLIN ELECTRIC6492015
CLEAN POWER SOLUTIONS142016
CLEARVIEW HOME IMPROVEMENTS122013
COMPLETE DOOR & TRIM1112015
COMPLETE SOLAR12802016
CONTACT ELECTRIC122011
CREATIVE ENERGY ELECTRIC132008
CROWN CONTRACTING152015
CUCELL142016
DAILY ELECTRIC3152015
DCS ENERGY152016
DESERT SOLAR172011
DIRECT ELECTRIC CO2132014
DIRECT ENERGY SOLAR4262015
DJH CONSTRUCTION172014
DRH SOLAR AND122014
ECO FRIENDLY REMODELING142015
ELECTRICAL WORKS1102013
ELECTRICARE10602015
ELITE ELECTRIC382402016
ELITE SOLAR8662015
ENERGY REMODELING20932016
ENERGY RENNOVATIONS CENTER5252016
ENVER ENERGY IMPROVEMENT11582016
ENVER SOLAR4162015
ENVISION ELECTRIC162014
ERIC CRUSE ELECTRIC152016
EVOLUTION ENERGY18872016
FREEDOM SOLAR13792016
FSS ALARMS1152009
FUTURE AIR & WINDOWS112002
FUTURE ENERGY CORP461932016
FUTURE ENERGY SAVERS152015
G & M SOLAR152012
GALKOS CONSTRUCTION34962015
GCI SOLAR9542015
GENERIC INSTALLER7362004
GNRG SOLAR152015
GR8 ENERGY162016
GREEN ENERGY GROUP142015
GREEN HILL REMODELING3132015
GREEN HOMES OF CA1162015
GREEN NRG6282015
GREEN ROAD SOLAR192014
GREEN SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES132016
GREEN SOURCE SOLUTIONS2102014
GREEN STREAM SOLAR & ELECTRIC162012
GREEN TECH7512015
GREENIFY2102016
GREENO'S ELECTRIC CO1152016
GRID ALTERNATIVES361042016
GROUND UP BUILDERS5242016
GUASTI CONSTRUCTION2172011
GURGANIOUS1132015
GUYOU CONSTRUCTION INC162016
HARRIS ELECTRIC122008
HELIOPOWER251532016
HERCA SOLAR9592015
HERITAGE SOLAR5432015
HIGHCRAFT HOME IMPROVEMENT192015
HOME PERFORMANCE MATTERS162015
HOMESTAR BUILDERS162013
HORIZON SOLAR1118362016
HORIZON SOLAR POWER4362016
IES RESIDENTIAL4252016
IN SOLAR282011
INLAND EMPOWER HOMES192016
JD CONSTRUCTION192014
JDC ENERGY172014
JUS MARK ELECTRIC2122014
KILLION ENERGY DBA GCI SOLAR3172013
KINCAID DEVELOPMENT2142014
KND ENERGY SOLUTIONS1112015
LA POWER CENTER CORP4192015
LA SOLAR ENERGY4262016
LEGEND POOLS & BUILDERS162016
LEONARD ROOFING242017
LUSIN CORP2232013
MADDOX HOME IMPROVEMENTS162013
MADEL SOLAR INC182013
MAGNOLIA HEATING & COOLING172015
MCCORMACK ROOFING182014
MCDANIEL INC192015
MEGA POWER ELECTRIC242016
METRO RF SERVICES8512016
MICHAEL MCEACHERN (SOUTHLAND SOLAR)2192013
MIRACLE SOLAR1102013
MISTER SPARKY ELECTRIC132014
MOHR POWER SOLAR613302016
MURDON CORP132010
NATURAL ENERGY211202015
NEW DAY SOLAR9842016
NEXT GENERATION SOLAR172010
NEXUS ENERGY SYSTEMS4182015
NP CONTRACTING INC142016
NU VISION ENERGY SOLUTION INC4232015
NUVISION ENERGY SOLUTIONS162013
OC SUNNY6132011
OPTION ONE CORP162015
PACIFIC COAST HOME SOLUTIONS132014
PACIFIC PRO SOLAR GROUP172012
PACIFIC STONEGATE292014
PACIFIC SUN SOLAR TECH172015
PACWEST POWER6442016
PALOMAR SOLAR LTD3302014
PARAMOUNT ENERGY SOLUTIONS172013
PARAMOUNT SOLAR172013
PATRIOTIC POWER SOLUTIONS162013
PEACE OF MIND3272015
PEACE OF MIND ELECTRIC152016
PEAK POWER SOLUTIONS3122015
PELL SOLAR483282016
PETERSENDEAN674212016
PHAT ENERGY182011
PIERRO CONSTRUCTION8302015
PLANET EARTH SOLAR LLC172016
PLANET SOLAR182015
POWER LIGHT CORP122009
POWERTOWN ELECTRIC162015
PRECIS SOLAR13942016
PREMIER POWER INC152009
PREMIER POWER RENEWABLE ENERGY152014
PROGRESSIVE ENERGY SOLUTIONS13862016
PROGRESSIVE POWER GROUP10742015
PURE SOLAR PROS162015
R E PIERRO CONSTRUCTION3142016
R S ENERGY CALIFORNIA8472014
RALOS SOLAR5232016
RAW ELECTRIC162010
REAL GOODS CARLSON SOLAR INC182011
REAL GOODS ENERGY TECH181492015
REAL GOODS INC4392012
REC SOLAR211352015
REFERRAL DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION292013
RELIABLE REMODELERS DBA SOLRELIABLE192013
RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVANTAGE1122015
RESPONSIBLE SOLAR2212014
RESTART SOLAR7652016
REVCO7342016
RGS/REAL GOODS7432014
RIGHTIME HOME132014
RIVERSIDE PUBLIC UTILITIES21962004
RONCO SOLAR POWER152014
ROSS POWER SOLUTIONS2162015
RUPERT'S INSTALLATION MANAGEMENT SERVICE5302015
SCC SOLAR ENERGY2122016
SCCE SOLAR142014
SE CONSTRUCTION & ELECTRIC142014
SEA BRIGHT SOLAR9672016
SELF11592016
SEMPER SOLARIS281852017
SEQUOIA SOLAR162008
SERVICE PLUSORPORATED DBA GREEN STREAM162010
SIERRA SOLAR162015
SIMPLY SOLAR142016
SMART ENERGY12882015
SMART ENERGY SOLAR8542015
SMART ENERGY USA161022016
SMART SOLAR192015
SMARTONE2162016
SO CAL CUSTOM INC4332016
SOCAL CUSTOM INC172015
SOCAL SOLAR3372013
SOCAL SOLAR ENERGY142009
SOL FUSION162014
SOL RELIABLE152014
SOLAIR ENERGY2122015
SOLAIRE ENERGY SYSTEMS7472016
SOLAR - TEC SYSTEMS192015
SOLAR 360 BUILDING SERVICES4322015
SOLAR BLVD192014
SOLAR CO2112015
SOLAR CONSTRUCTION5252015
SOLAR CREW292016
SOLAR ENERGY222013
SOLAR ENERGY 9112102016
SOLAR ENERGY EXCHANGE4192016
SOLAR GEM ELECTRICAL2182016
SOLAR HOLMES2132016
SOLAR HOME182012
SOLAR OPTIMUM172015
SOLAR PLUS3142010
SOLAR SERVICE CENTER362152016
SOLAR SYMPHONY CONSTRUCTION182016
SOLAR UNIVERSE5342016
SOLAR UNLIMITED1102009
SOLAR VAST162016
SOLARCITY4902,8392016
SOLARCO132015
SOLARGEM192015
SOLARMAX201542015
SOLARMAX LED INC172015
SOLARMAX RENEWABLE412782015
SOLARMAX RENEWABLE ENERGY PROVIDER574192016
SOLARMAX TECHNOLOGY152011
SOLARWORLD AMERICAS142014
SOLATRON TECHNOLOGIES2182007
SOLCIUS241512016
SOLIGENT182015
SOLIGENT LEASING162014
SOLTEC EPC7412014
SOUTH WEST SUN SOLAR2142016
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HOME IMPROVEMENT CENTER152016
SOUTHLAND SOLAR162015
SPG SOLAR182008
STELLAR SOLAR162016
STOUT & BURG ELECTRIC17742014
SULLIVAN ELECTRIC162005
SULLIVAN SOLAR POWER201632016
SUMMERWIND SOLAR4232014
SUN PLUG INC152015
SUN SMART162016
SUN TIME ENERGY12742016
SUNBELT SOLAR SYSTEMS2152012
SUNCAPITAL SOLAR2102016
SUNCOSMIC BUILDERS142016
SUNCOSMIC BUILDERS, INC142016
SUNCREST SOLAR261412016
SUNERGY CONSTRUCTION5242016
SUNFREEDOM SOLAR152016
SUNGEVITY493172016
SUNNYSIDE SOLAR8232016
SUNPOWER4276392017
SUNPRO SOLAR161182016
SUNRISE SOLAR162016
SUNRUN593842016
SUNSTARTER SOLAR152015
SUNSTREET ENERGY GROUP33872016
SUNTIME ENERGY292015
SUNTREK INDUSTRIES142010
SUNWIZE172009
SWAN SOLAR282011
SYNTOL PLUMBING ELECTRICAL HEATING & AIR4212016
SYNTROL PLUMBING152016
T & G ROOFING2132015
T & M SOLAR292013
TENCO SOLAR3252015
TESLA16822017
TITAN CONSTRUCTION10452015
TITAN CONSTRUCTION & SOLAR241072016
TLP ELECTRIC INTEGRATIONS7422016
TOP DESIGN, INC1122014
TOWER CONSTRUCTION152009
TRIDENT TECHNICAL RESOURCES3172015
TRIPLE LINE SOLAR3252016
TSJ ELECTRICAL & COMMUNICATIONS1202010
UNITED EXPRESS CONSTRUCTION162016
UNITED FIELD4132015
UNLEASH SOLAR6182015
UPTOWN SOLAR132016
URBAN ENERGY142011
VERENGO1901,1342016
VISION SOLAR16962017
VIVINT2071,3952017
WEGEN SOLAR3132015
WIN-DOR152010
ZEMBER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY122013

Solar panel lease companies in Riverside

If you’re thinking about going with a solar lease or PPA, you should first read our guide to solar financing to make sure that you understand the pros and cons of a lease or PPA versus purchasing a system outright. In most cases, you will come out on top by buying your solar panels, even if that means taking out a loan.

That said, leases/PPAs continue to be popular, and they can be a good choice in some cases. There are several national solar installers that offer leases/PPAs, but not all of them operate in every state. Here’s a breakdown of some of the major solar installers that offer these types of contracts, and whether they operate in your state:

CompanyOperates in California ?
SungevityYES
SunnovaYES
SunrunYES
Vivint SolarYES

Looking for solar panel cleaning companies in Riverside?

Are you searching for a local solar panel cleaning company? Stop and reconsider. For the vast majority of people, what you end up paying to a company to clean your solar array will never be recouped by the small increase you get in electricity generation. In fact, rain is sufficient to keep solar panels clean for most people. If you live in a dry and dusty area or frequently find bird poop or leaves on your panels, invest in some inexpensive equipment to take care of cleaning yourself. Read our guide to solar panel maintenance, which includes tips on solar panel cleaning and a some recommended cleaning equipment.

Contact solar companies in Riverside

Want to work with one of these companies? We screen companies to make sure that you work with qualified installers. Use our service to get multiple quotes from quality Riverside solar contractors.

Get quotes from solar installers in Riverside



Average California electricity prices


The average price of residential electricity in California is 18.31 cents per kilowatt hour, while the average price across the nation is 13.34 cents per kWh.

This means that you are paying 37% more for electricity than the national average. That’s pretty expensive.

Higher than average prices like this are a good argument for going solar.

Regardless of what your electricity prices are, by adding solar panels to your house and generating your own electricity, you’re locking in your cost of electricity for as long as your system is working, which will protect you from future rate increases by your utility. Given that many panels come with 25 year warranties, this is an investment that can last a long time.

Keep in mind that the price of electricity varies by utility, sometimes by a lot. The table below lists the average price of electricity for utilities in California state. For current rates, check with your utility.

Company# CustomersAvg Price (¢/kWh)
Aha Macav Power Service898.18
Anza Electric Coop Inc4,33817.93
Bear Valley Electric Service22,47027.71
City of Alameda30,81118.07
City of Anaheim - (CA)111,34716.52
City & County of San Francisco23817.00
City of Azusa14,66713.33
City of Banning - (CA)10,98520.18
City of Burbank Water and Power46,21516.51
City of Colton - (CA)16,66116.16
City of Corona - (CA)98615.59
City of Glendale - (CA)74,78319.96
City of Healdsburg - (CA)4,82317.13
City of Lodi - (CA)21,94017.48
City of Moreno Valley - (CA)5,57620.03
City of Lompoc - (CA)13,16515.55
City of Palo Alto - (CA)25,57914.28
City of Pasadena - (CA)55,76318.23
City of Redding - (CA)37,87816.76
City of Riverside - (CA)97,34716.12
City of Roseville - (CA)52,18115.54
City of Santa Clara - (CA)46,85912.27
City of Shasta Lake - (CA)4,16617.36
City of Ukiah - (CA)6,44913.62
City of Vernon7311.85
Imperial Irrigation District132,63212.93
Lassen Municipal Utility District9,03215.70
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power1,329,96816.65
Liberty Utilities42,32313.79
Merced Irrigation District7,41816.02
Modesto Irrigation District97,93517.81
PacifiCorp35,70413.88
Pacific Gas & Electric Co.3,998,18721.18
Sacramento Municipal Util Dist552,67814.06
San Diego Gas & Electric Co1,280,26422.09
Southern California Edison Co4,362,15016.60
Pittsburg Power Company34822.60
Plumas-Sierra Rural Elec Coop6,60618.58
Surprise Valley Electrification2,8258.79
Truckee Donner P U D12,23715.60
Turlock Irrigation District73,39316.01
Valley Electric Assn, Inc1213.11

Historical California electricity prices, 2008 to 2017


The average price of residential electricity in California, over the past ten years, is 15.86 cents per Kilowatt hour. This is 31% more than than the US average price of 12.07 cents per kWh. Because your state historically has had high electricity prices, there’s a good chance that prices will continue to be high in the future. This is a good argument for going solar.

Why is this important to know? Depending on the size of your system, owning home solar reduces or eliminates the effect of electricity price increases.


Historical California electricity prices (cents per kilowatt hour)

CA prices
US prices
2008200920102011201220132014201520162017
CA prices13.81¢14.74¢14.75¢14.78¢15.34¢16.23¢16.25¢16.99¢17.39¢18.31¢
US prices11.26¢11.51¢11.54¢11.72¢11.88¢12.13¢12.52¢12.65¢12.55¢12.89¢


One of the big financial advantages of going solar is that you basically lock in your price of electricity for the next 20 to 30 years (because most solar panels come with 25 year power warranties). When you look at the graphs above and see the historical trend of electricity prices in the United States, you’ll notice that prices steadily increase over time. While prices from your utility may bounce up and down, the cost of electricity eventually increases over time. Going solar will protect you from those increases.



Environmental report for California electricity

Depending on the type of fuel they use, power plants produce differing amounts of air pollution. This is measured as units of pollution per megawatt hour (mWh) of electricity.

For every mWh of electricity generated, California power plants produce on average:

  • 216 kilograms of CO2, which is 53% less than the US average of 459 kg.
  • 7 grams of SO2, which is 98% less than the US average of 411 g.
  • 332 grams of NOx, which is 11% less than the US average of 373 g.

In the power generation estimate listed above, The Solar Nerd calculator determined that an unshaded, south-facing 6 kilowatt PV system would generate about 10,842 kWh in an average year.

This means that putting a 6 kW solar panel system on your house would prevent 2,342 kilograms of CO2, 76 grams of SO2, and 3,600 grams of NOx from being emitted into the atmosphere.

The carbon offset of these solar panels would be about equivalent to planting 136 trees every year! (One deciduous tree left to grow for 10 years offsets 17.2 kg of CO2, according to the EPA.)

CA state average electricity emissions
CA
US
Glossary:
CO2 is carbon dioxide and is a primary greenhouse gas.
SO2 is sulphur dioxide. It damages the human respiratory system and contributes to acid rain.
NOx refers to nitrogen oxides, which contribute to smog, acid rain, and lung damage.


Calculate your home solar incentives for Riverside

Use our calculator to determine the financial payback of a home solar systemand to get a solar performance estimate customized to your home, including federal, state, and local incentives.



Ready to go solar in Riverside?

Use our free service to find qualified solar contractors and get multiple quotes on a solar panel installation in Buffalo.

Home solar quotes in Riverside
Sources:
This report was prepared with data from the good people at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Data, the US Energy Information Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency.